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THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL FATHER
Intro: If you were to make a list of great Bible fathers, you might include men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You might include Solomon, who wrote many of the Proverbs for his sons. You might include Joseph, the husband of Mary, who raised Jesus as his own Son and provided him with a godly home. There would surely be many others who would make the list of the great dads of the Bible. However, most of us would not include the man who is the object of the text before us today: a man by the name of Noah.
When they think of Noah, people always remember his work on the ark. They see that as his greatest achievement. Many would question his successfulness as a dad because of some of the failures that occurred later in his life. People remember when Noah got drunk, Gen. 9:20-21. They also remember the business with his grandson Canaan and Canaan’s father Ham, Gen. 9:22-27. But, think about this, Noah’s great success as a father was in the fact that he saw every member of his family saved. What greater accomplishment in life could there possibly be?
Now, we look at men like Noah and say, “Well, of course he was a success, after all he was Noah!” But, did you ever stop to think that he had to get across some of the same hurdles that fathers face today?
1. He raised his family during a time of extreme wickedness - 6:5
2. He raised his family during a time of extreme violence - 6:11
3. He raised his family during a time when God and His ways were being ignored - 6:12
4. He raised his family against the backdrop of the impending judgment of God - 6:17
Noah raised his family during an exceedingly difficult time, yet in spite of all this, Noah made certain achievements that identify him as a successful father. I am interested in this because I want to be a successful dad. I am sure that every dad in this place wants to be successful as well. The truths the Bible reveals about this man named Noah can and will help this to be more than a desire, they can make it a reality.
Now, whether you are a father or not, there is a word here for you as well. Because, in reality, these achievements that mark Noah as a successful father, should also be true about every believer in God’s family. You see, whether you are a dad or not, you are still a person of influence in someone’s life. Therefore, what these verses teach us can help you be successful in your life as well. So, let’s allow the Lord to speak to our hearts today as we identify THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL FATHER.
I. Gen. 6:8-9 NOAH WALKED WITH GOD
A. Noah Was A Converted Man - Two words give a clue as to where Noah stood with the Lord: Grace and Just. Grace is the unmerited love and favor of God for sinners. Grace shows us our sins and provides us with the faith to turn to God for salvation. The word Just refers to our standing before God. To be just means to be right with God, to be right in His sight. This is the result of responding to God’s grace by exercising faith in God and in His provision for sin. Simply put, this is the message of the Gospel, Eph. 2:8-9. (Note: It is the grace of God that shows us our condition before God as sinners, Rom. 3:10-23. It is grace that points us to the remedy for our sins: the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 16:31. Grace makes the cross and the empty tomb real, Rom. 10:9-10. It is grace that provides us with faith believe and when that faith is placed in Christ alone, the sinner is saved and justified before God, 1 Cor. 6:9-11!) (Note: Dad, or anyone else for that matter, the greatest gift you can give to your family is for them to know that you are saved by grace and headed to Heaven. That will mean more to them than your money, your houses or your lands. That is a legacy that can never be tarnished or taken away from them!)
B. Noah Was A Consecrated Man - The Bible says that Noah was “perfect”. This word means “upright”. This carries the idea that not only did Noah claim a relationship with the Lord, but he lived out a relationship with the Lord as well. It’s one thing to talk about being saved and loving the Lord, it is quite another thing to actually live out that claim every day. Let me just remind you that those around you are watching you! It may not be right to judge one another, but you will still be tried and convicted in the hearts of those who see the kind of life you really live. (Ill. 1 Pet. 1:16, 1 Pet. 2:9) (Ill. Do not let “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” be said about you!)
C. Noah Was A Consistent Man - The Bible says that Noah “walked with God”. The idea here is of a consistent walk with the Lord. He wasn’t hot and cold, up and down and in and out, he just walked with the Lord day by day. I am sure there were days when Noah “felt” better about things than he did on other days, but when it was all averaged out, he just walked consistently with God. (Note: There is no greater testimony than a patient, consistent walk before the Lord. Just being steady in a world of constant change says more about you than a thousand verbal testimonies! Besides, a consistent walk before the Lord is a walk others want to emulate!)
(Note: If you are saved by grace, living a clean life and are consistent in your walk with God, you have accomplished something great with your life already! Friend, are you walking with God?)
II. 2 Pet. 2:5 NOAH WITNESSED TO OTHERS
(Note: The Bible calls Noah a “preacher of righteousness”. This means that while he was building the ark, he was telling a lost world that the end was coming. He was telling them about a way of escape. Notice here how Noah witnessed.)
A. Noah Witnessed Through His Conduct - Look at what the Bible says about the people around Noah in that society, Gen. 6:5, 12-13. Now, look at what the Bible says about Noah, Gen. 6:9. He was so different from the people around him that his very life was a living, breathing witness to every lost soul that saw him. Noah stuck out in his world like a sore thumb! (Note: People talk about “lifestyle evangelism”, and that’s fine, if your lifestyle is so radically different from the world around you. This is what the Lord expects from His children, Matt. 5:13-16) (Ill. The radical lifestyle Jesus lived out is what He desires for each of His children, Matt. 16:24, 1 John 2:6.)
B. Noah Witnessed Through His Conversation - While Noah lived right and worked for the Lord, he also took the time to open his mouth to tell others about what the Lord was about to do, 2 Pet. 2:5. (Note: We are to live the right kind of life, but we need to be in the business of sharing our faith with a lost world as well, Acts 1:8, Matt. 28:19-20. When your children, and others that look up to you, see you care enough about the lost to tell them about salvation through Jesus Christ, it teaches a lesson that will not be easily be forgotten!)
C. Noah Witnessed Through His Commitment - For 120 years, Noah worked and preached. After all that effort, the only converts he had were to members of his own family. Surely he became discouraged and frustrated, but he stayed the course and maintained his commitment to the Lord. What a wonderful testimony! (Note: One of the greatest proofs of the validity of your testimony is your consistent commitment to live for God in spite of what others around you are doing. Friends, there will be times when it will not be easy, fun or popular to be found on the side of the Lord. However, it is the people who stick with their commitment to the Lord through all the varied times of life that win the respect and the admiration of those around them who are watching. Don’t give up friend, there’s a pay day at the end of the way, Gal. 6:9! Besides, a steady commitment silences your critics, 1 Pet. 2:15.)
III. Gen. 7:1-2 NOAH WON HIS FAMILY
(Note: Noah was a successful father because he walked with God and because he witnessed to others. But, his greatest achievement was this: he won his family! Notice what we can learn about getting our families to God.)
A. He Won Their Respect - Notice 6:18 and 7:7. You will also notice that when God spoke He only spoke to Noah, 6:13-7:4. Yet, then it was time to enter the ark, his sons and their wives followed him in. Why? I think the answer is this: they believed in what he believed in because they believed in him! His family knew that Noah’s walk with the Lord was the real deal and they respected him for the man he was! (Note: Contrast this the response Lot got from his family - Gen. 19:8, 14, 30-38.) How did he win their respect? By his walk and his witness!
B. He Won Their Response - Genesis 7:7 - They followed Noah into the ark! Then, when the rains fell and the rest of the world perished, they were saved. I would submit to you that the greatest accomplishment of the life of this great man was the fact that he was able to see his children saved. This eclipsed everything else he did in his life. (Note: When all is said and done, will your children follow your faith? I know that their decision is purely between them and the Lord. But, I also know that they may base what they do on what they see in your life! Determine in your heart today that you will do everything in your power to see your family get in the ark with you!) (Note: You may not leave your family a single dime of inheritance. You may not leave them an inch of property. But, if you pass down your faith to those who come behind you, you have left them the richest legacy of all!)
Conc: Noah was a successful father because of his achievements. He walked with God, he witnessed to others and he won his family. I think that marks his as a success, don’t you?
As you look at Noah and then look at yourself, I want to ask you a couple of questions.
1. Are you saved and in a relationship with the Lord?
2. Are you living a consecrated, consistent life before those who are watching you?
3. Are you sharing what you have with others?
4. Is your family in the ark?
5. Have you seen things in you or in those around you that need to be changed?
If you need to bring these or any other things to God, not is the time.